Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Week | Racing News

12 Mar 2024
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

To ensure you stay caught up on all the racing news from the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Week we’ve collated it down below…


ICYMI: Sam Weatherley aboard Mahrajaan took out the 2024 edition of the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup.



Bittersweet Bonecrusher win for breeders

El Vencedor’s (NZ) (Shocking) career-best performance at Ellerslie to triumph at Group One level was tinged with a bittersweet note for breeder-owners David Price and Mark Freeman.

The Stephen Marsh-trained son of Shocking added to the Wellington pair’s success with the family when he capped off a lucrative campaign with victory in Saturday’s Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) under Irish jockey Joe Doyle.



Cup Day triumph for Butterfield

Tauranga horseman Patrick McCarten enjoyed one of his more memorable days as a trainer when producing Butterfield to win on Auckland Cup Day at Ellerslie last Saturday.

The eight-year-old gelding ran seventh at the Auckland track seven days prior after placing in his two previous starts this year, and McCarten was hopeful of a better showing in the Tempur Classic 1200.



Talented Hat Trick delivers at Ellerslie

Promising four-year-old Hat Trick (NZ) (Fastnet Rock) proved he has plenty more to offer as he claimed his second victory from just three starts, with a stylish front-running performance to take out a Special Conditions Maiden contest over 1400m at Ellerslie.

The statuesque son of Fastnet Rock kept rider Michael McNab on his toes throughout with some erratic behaviour, but when asked to focus his energies on his task he buckled down nicely to dash clear of his rivals in the home straight after setting his own terms in front from barrier rise.



Exciting Adam I Am back in winners circle

Three hours before pin-up mare Legarto lined up as the centre of attention in Saturday’s Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m), an up-and-comer carrying those same cream and brown colours earned his own share of the Ellerslie spotlight.

Adam I Am (NZ) (Almanzor) lived up to his $1.90 favouritism in style with a bold victory in the $90,000 Go Racing 1400. The Rating 85 contest was the toughest test yet for the four-year-old Almanzor gelding, who has now won four of his seven starts and placed in another two. Adam I Am has earned $134,720 in stakes for a syndicate that includes his co-breeders, Ancroft Stud’s Philip and Catherine Brown.



Pearl Of Alsace makes winning return

Classy mare Pearl Of Alsace (NZ)(Tavistock) returned to summer racing with a vengeance when claiming a narrow victory in the opening event at Ellerslie, the Westbury Stud Royal Descent Stakes (1600m).

The Shaune Ritchie and Colm Murray-prepared five-year-old hadn’t been seen since finishing sixth in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa prior to Christmas, after completing a spring campaign that included placing behind Ladies Man in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m). She then headed to Melbourne for a hit-and-run mission in the Gr.2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, where she finished close-up in fourth.



Mahrajaan accomplishes rare Cup double

Four months after his triumph in the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton, Mahrajaan (Kitten’s Joy) earned himself a special place in New Zealand racing history by adding Saturday’s Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie.

Mahrajaan became only the third horse to ever win the New Zealand Cup and Auckland Cup in the same season, and the first to do so in more than six decades. The other members of this exclusive group are Lochiel (1887-88), Cuddle (1935-36) and Stipulate (1962-63).



El Vencedor causes upset in Bonecrusher Stakes

An inch perfect front running ride by Irishman Joe Doyle paved the way for outsider El Vencedor to upset the applecart in the Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie.

Despite a consistent form-line with a win and three placings along with a last-start fourth in the Gr.1 Otaki-Māori Weight For Age Classic (1600m), the five-year-old son of Shocking was overlooked by punters as he closed at $21 on the Fixed Odds market.



Velocious dominant in Sistema Stakes

Superstar filly Velocious cemented herself atop the country’s two-year-old ranks with a tenacious victory in Saturday’s Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.

Velocious burst onto the juvenile scene on debut at Te Rapa in November, the daughter of Written Tycoon swiftly collecting black-type honours in the Listed Counties Challenge Stakes (1100m) at the following start.



Legarto up for Summer Series Bonus

The connections of short-priced favourite Legarto (NZ) (Proisir) are in for a massive payday following Saturday’s $450,000 Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie, irrespective of the result.

The daughter of Proisir is almost assured of taking home the lion’s share of the $650,000 summer series bonus that was introduced this year by Entain Australia and New Zealand in association with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.





Satherley gets another underrated stayer into Cup

Lynsey Satherley’s affinity with underrated stayers continued at Ellerslie on Saturday, guiding My Maebelline Girl (NZ) (Shamoline Warrior) to victory and a place in next week’s Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m).

Satherley secured the ride aboard Cup favourite Asterix (NZ) (Tavistock) after a sterling effort paying $14 in the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) and was tasked with a similar quote when partnering Kylie Little’s mare in the Vertical Logistics Nathans Memorial.



Hashizume wins Rangitoto Classic

Rider Masa Hashizume enjoyed one of his best days in the saddle when he claimed a winning treble at Ellerslie, including an impressive victory aboard Jaarffi (NZ) (Iffraaj) in the newly minted $350,000 Rangitoto Classic (1500m).

The Classic is another in a series of innovative special events around the country this season, with this contest for horses from stables where their trainer sat outside of the Top 10 in prizemoney at midnight 30 November 2023.



Orchestral makes Derby history for James

Roger James is now the most successful trainer in the history of the Gr.1 Trackside New Zealand Derby (2400m), but even that enormous achievement was overshadowed at Ellerslie on Saturday by the new superstar of his Cambridge stable.

Orchestral became the sixth Derby winner for James, following on from Tidal Light (1986), Roysyn (1995), Zonda (1997), Hades (1999) and Silent Achiever (2012). Saturday’s win took him one ahead of the great Colin Jillings, who had previously shared the record with five.



Certainly maintains Te Akau’s Mufhasa Stakes dominance

Te Akau Racing’s former trainer Jamie Richards had a stranglehold on the Mufhasa Stakes (1400m) on New Zealand Derby Day, and his successors Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson continued that tradition at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The runaway premiership leaders won the Mainstream Plumbing-sponsored Group Three feature with classy Waikato Stud homebred Certainly, who became the fourth Mufhasa Stakes winner in the last five years to come from Te Akau’s Matamata stable.



Positivity claims first stakes victory in Sunline Vase

Unheralded Almanzor filly Positivity sprang an upset at Ellerslie on Saturday when she fought doggedly in the run home to take out the Gr.3 McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) and claim her first stakes victory.

The Andrew Forsman-prepared three-year-old was having just her fifth start and had looked a likely staying prospect when breaking her maiden status over 1600m a Tauranga at just her second start.



Marina Farina hits top gear in King’s Plate

Underrated mare Maria Farina outsprinted several of the country’s top gallopers to secure Saturday’s Gr.3 Haunui Farm King’s Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie.

The daughter of Contributer has flown relatively under the radar this season, despite having accumulated six career victories, including the Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m), and Listed Stewards Stakes (1200m) during New Zealand Cup Week in November.




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